[rescue] LCD monitor diagnosis

Don Y dgy at DakotaCom.Net
Thu Apr 27 11:35:08 CDT 2006

Sandwich Maker wrote:
> " From: Don Y <dgy at DakotaCom.Net>
> " 
> " Sandwich Maker wrote:
> " > heard recently that half of all electronics returned as 'defective'
> " > were fine.  the buyers just couldn't figure out how to make them work.
> " > 
> " > i guess there's no budget for human-factors engineering in consumer
> " > products...
> " 
> " Yes, a european source, IIRC.  It's not hard to imagine, though.
> " Many products have WAY too many features resulting in severely
> " "overloaded" user interface functions (i.e. buttons that do
> " 48 different things).  
> and it crops up in the most unexpected places.  autoweek mag recently
> tested a midrange bmw, and even the staffers who figured out how to
> operate the new dashboard control center hated it.  it's -way- too
> complicated for a driver to navigate while driving, a big step back
> from the clear, intuitive, touch-identifiable controls of say the
> '80s.

We track our gas mileage (autos).  Currently, by logging the
elapsed miles (disciplining ourselves to reset the trip odometer
at each fillup) and the printed receipt from the gas pump
(thousandths of gallons).  And, a few seconds of mental arithmetic
to divide one into the other.

The other day I mused that the car should be able to do this
*for* us.  After all, it knows how many miles it has traveled.
Just type in the number of gallons consumed (or, with accurate
metering of the injectors, let it figure that out as well!).

But, I quickly realized the folly of such a "mileage computer"...
an infrequently used device (thus subject to user's forgetting
HOW to use it) and it's "controls" dont fit, intuitively,
within the existing complement of dashboard controls in a car.
(so, you'd have to "overload" the cigarette lighter to do double
duty as the ENTER key, etc.  :> )

> as an engineer, i find creating sophisticated products is fun and

You can spend a LOT of energy trying to fit your product to
it's intended user/market.  The number of subtle little things
that user's *may* find significant (that YOU may take for granted!)
is staggering!

I was demonstrating an old reading machine to a friend yesterday.
While *I* am blown away by the complexity of the algorithms for
recognizing different typefaces, different page layouts, column
boundaries, graphics, etc., the first question out of HIS mouth
was, "Can I pick a different VOICE for it to use??"


> challenging.  as a consumer - i still use a microwave with a rotary
> timer, and i don't even have a cellphone.

Well, I have mastered the "10-key microwave" (heck, I have even
learned that REHEAT 5 2 will get my marinara sauce up to serving
temperature lickety-split!).  But, I don't own a cell phone,
either.  And, the cordless phones I have do far too many things
(gee, what's the point of having a PBX in your home if your
cordless can do many of the same things?!)

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